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I get it. It’s Valentine’s Day and we’re in a pandemic. You’re lonely, so that one person you’ve kind of been seeing keeps popping up in your head. But don’t do it—trust me. This Valentine’s Day, there are some people you just shouldn’t text unless that text is “bye.” They are a colossal waste of our time, which is ironic because lots of us live in fear of wasting our time. A YouGov survey conducted for my new book, Just Send the Text (although, as I’m about to say, sometimes you shouldn’t!), found that 37 percent of single women said the idea of “wasting time” when it comes to dating makes them anxious. Plus, putting all your emotional eggs in one toxic basket holds you back from what finding what will really make you happy. In order to stop wasting time, it is IMPERATIVE—yes, in caps!—that you remove certain people from your love life. Like these folks:
The “They’re Perfect, But” Person
There’s always going to be that person who’s absolutely perfect for you with the exception of one huge element that’s totally out of your control. They’re so good in bed that your sex life feels like a scene straight out of the second half of Bridgerton, “but” their job requires them to work 100-hour weeks and they have no time to ever see you. They’re so loyal that you finally feel like you get what Rihanna was talking about when she sang “Only Girl (In the World),” “but” they’re in the middle of a really messy divorce. They’re so perfect that you’re suspicious your friends might have willed them into existence just so you’d stop rambling about your ex, “but” they live across the country and have no intention of moving.
The Too-Much-Too-Soon Person
The Too-Much-Too-Soon Person goes all in right from the get-go. At their most extreme, they’re showering you with grand gestures (think: a surprise flash mob in the park set to Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” halfway through your casual lunch date) and making you feel like you’re finally the star of your very own rom-com. At their most tame, they’re a textbook codependent relationship person who just wants to lock you down ASAP after having ended their last relationship 20 minutes ago. Either way, they’re super intense and, while you do feel special, something deep down inside warns you something is off.
The Dead End
This person is a Dead End because there is no future with them. Like, at all. You might be thinking, But Candice, isn’t there no future with any of these types?! Well, in a sense, yes—but with this person, it is abundantly clear that things are not headed toward a relationship because they’ve blatantly told you. Maybe they said something like “I don’t believe in labels” or “I’m too busy for a relationship right now.” Choosing to see them is like driving circles in an emotional cul-de-sac.
Come on, you know what a Player is—the shady person who just can’t seem to go ahead and pick you over the other people they currently have on their roster. The one who, even after months and months of casually dating, will grace you with a “u, up?” text at 4:00 a.m. on a Tuesday. If that. And let me give you a sneak preview of whom the player likely turns into on the off chance they’re able to go from hookup buddy to “official” partner: the Cheater.
The Excuse Machine
If there was an award for the Least Accountable Person on the Planet, this person would win that big ol’ gold-plated trophy. The Excuse Machine takes zero responsibility for any of their actions. For every mistake they make or hurt that they cause, they have an excuse for why it totally wasn’t their fault. They have an excuse to get out of every event or activity or responsibility. You’re never going to get a straight-up explanation from them, and more important, you are most definitely not going to ever get an apology.
The Fisher, whether it’s intentional or not, knows how to keep you on the proverbial hook. Even months after you end things, the Fisher finds a way to pop back into your life and reel you back in—whether it be with a DM on Instagram or a “miss you” text. I’m an optimist, so I like to give the Fisher the benefit of the doubt. Like, maybe the Fisher does this because they’re a people pleaser. Perhaps they’re incapable of just letting you hate them, so they periodically check in to make sure you don’t. But that doesn’t mean that you have to accept their actions and settle. PSA: It’s okay to hate them. Heck, I’d even block them.
The Human Void
This type is called the Human Void because talking to them about anything serious feels like screaming into the abyss. Sure, the banter may be great. But when it comes to having any sort of real conversation, they totally shut down. So…maybe shut it down first by not even hitting them up.
The Nice (Enough) Person
You date the Nice (Enough) Person simply because you can’t quite find anything wrong with them. They’re fine. They get the job done, and they check all your on-paper boxes. But you don’t feel even slightly excited about them. Instead, you’re hoping that maybe if you give it enough time you’ll start getting excited about this very safe option.
This person is–simply put–a condescending jerk. They’re constantly giving backhanded compliments and making you feel like you’re not good enough for one reason or another. This is obviously a hilarious joke because you most definitely are good enough, not just for the Belittler. But for every person on this list. Actually, I’ll take it one step further: I think you’re better than every single one of these people. So, please. For the love of Lizzo, stop wasting your time.
Adapted from JUST SEND THE TEXT: An Expert’s Guide to Letting Go of the Stress and Anxiety of Modern Dating, by Candice Jalili. Copyright © 2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Tiller Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
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